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Top Projects Completed 2003-2004

Temporary World Trade Center PATH Station

Rank #9
Cost: $253 million

The restoration of the PATH station and train service at the World Trade Center was not a simple construction job.

The first public space to open at the site since the towers fell on Sept. 11 was an emotional job as well.

The temporary station, open-air and without many of the customer amenities maintained by its former self, is bare and simple but entirely functional. It opened for its first riders - and applause - again on Nov. 23, more than two years after it was destroyed in the terrorist attacks.

The $323 million reconstruction was the final portion of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey's $566 million program to bring PATH service back to New Jersey and Lower Manhattan as soon as possible after the disaster.

Before Sept. 11, the PATH served more than 260,000 passengers daily between New York and New Jersey, with nearly 67,000 of those passengers boarding at the World Trade Center. Now, the PATH has only 180,000 users.

Before it could get those users back on the train, the Port Authority had to do some extreme damage control. The PATH tunnels between Lower Manhattan and Jersey City were flooded by broken water and sewer lines, which destroyed the infrastructure within the tunnels. In January 2002, after the tunnels had been blocked and flooded for three months, a partnership between Yonkers Contracting Co. Inc., Tully Construction Co. Inc. and A.J. Pegno Construction Co., was awarded the responsibility for bringing the PATH back to life.

Because of the tight time frame and need to get the trains up and running again, the team began building immediately without the usual year-long design processes and preconstruction work. It also went through a number of different methods before settling on building using roadheaders, rock cutting machines typically used in coal mines.

Heavy construction on the actual tunnels was completed in April 2003.

An actual station also had to be reconstructed. The new station is in the footprint and almost an exact image of the old one, with five tracks, three platforms and a huge escalator to bring passengers onto the cars.

But rather than emerging from their ride into a shopping concourse, passengers now exit street level under a gleaming canopy. There is also now a series of elevators at the station to ensure that it is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

By necessity perhaps more than by design, the new station features fiberglass panels with photographs of the history of the PATH station, exposed steel beams and metal deck. The bare, simple structure keeps the site flexible but also marks the mood of change and rebuilding in the area.

The development adjacent to the station and the coming of the permanent station are being heralded as the Grand Central of Lower Manhattan.

Soon to replace the temporary PATH station is the $2 billion World Trade Center Transportation Hub, designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava and expected to be completed in 2009. The new hub will feature a freestanding grand pavilion with a glass ceiling with glass and steel wings to rise 150 ft. from the ground.

It has the capacity to ultimately serve more than 80,000 PATH riders daily and millions of tourists annually. It is expected to install pedestrian connections that will significantly improve access to PATH, ferries and subway lines across Lower Manhattan, which will eventually be able to support 250,000 daily commuters.

Most important, it will connect with the World Financial Center and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's proposed Fulton Street Transit Center and might include a direct rail service to the area airports.

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